IT IS A TOUGH TASK, PICKING AND CHOOSING A TOP 10. Maybe once the discussion starts, that list needs to include more than 10? The conversation began shortly after Gilmer won its
third state championship, defeating West Orange-Stark,
under Jeff Traylor, the hometown protégé, who guided his
alma mater to a dozen district championships and 14 playoff
appearances in 15 seasons at the helm of the Upshur
County program. Traylor led Gilmer to five state championship appearances, winning three crowns.
All of this was prior to Traylor being mentioned as a candidate for the tight ends coaching position at the University of
Texas, much less accepting that offer from Texas head coach
Traylor holds numerous school records at Gilmer, including
45 consecutive district wins, 34 consecutive home victories
and 30 regular-season wins in a row. But each of the aforementioned East Texas legends has his own impressive résumé.
Surratt is a close friend of Traylor’s. His stint in Carthage
mirrors what Traylor accomplished at Gilmer. In seven fewer
seasons, Scott has a .817 winning percentage compared
to Traylor’s .871, with four championships — including an
undefeated 4-0 mark in title bouts — and is eight-for-eight
reaching the playoffs with seven district titles.
Alexander, whose titles at Daingerfield in 1983 and ’ 85
were as good as it gets anywhere at any time, has a 339-
140-11 record and 19 district crowns in stops at Daingerfield, Henderson, Harleton and Troup. He has weathered the
changes in not only the game, but the coaching profession
in his 43 years. Interestingly, his Blue Tigers were the state’s
first unbeaten 16-game champion.
As the Eagle flies at Tatum, Evans owns a .793 winning
percentage, two titles in 2005 and ’06, and an overtime loss
while in pursuit of a third in a row against Farmersville in
2007. Evans has guided Tatum to seven district titles and 11
Beyond that top four on the proverbial East Texas Mount
Rushmore, one must consider Big Sandy’s Jim Norman,
Daingerfield’s Barry Bowman, Paris/Tyler John Tyler’s Allen
Wilson, Texarkana Texas High’s Barry Norton, Longview’s
Pete Shotwell and Kilgore’s Mike Vallery.
BY JOE HALE
and Tatum’s Andy
Evans sit on East
Rushmore of high
Carthage’s Scott Surratt has a .817 winning
percentage and is 4-0 in championship games.
30 FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL TEXAS 2015 FNF MAGAZINE @FNFMAG @FNFMAG FNFMAGAZINE.COM ORDER THE PRINT VERSION AT FNFMAGAZINE.COM